Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lake Charles, LA
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All my dogs were taught to retrieve by holding a treat against the dowel, on the side opposite of the dog. The dog will paw and lick and everything else to get the treat, and at some point they will try putting the dowel in their mouths, and that is when I release the treat and flick it into the mouth. As they catch on the food is pulled farther and farther away until it is gone, and dog knows to grab the dowel to earn a treat, even if treat isn't visible. I don't know what this kind of training is officially called, but I call it "lured shaping".
Once the dog has a solid retrieve I do go back and teach an ear pinch. So it's never used to teach my dog's how to retrieve, just that what they already know isn't optional.
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